The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is stepping up its innovation initiatives in support of the Duterte administration’s thrust to reduce inequality and create more opportunities.
DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said the innovation programs of the DOST are aligned with the country’s development agenda.
“We are really drumming up this innovation because, in our Philippine Development Plan (PDP), one of the chapters is titled, “Vigorously Advancing Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) for Inclusive Development,” he said.
Innovation, he emphasized, is not a sole work of the government, adding the business and education sectors and others have an important role to play.
“Actually, everybody can play a role (in innovation), not only the researchers who can contribute towards this. There are many sectors, like manufacturing, education, business that can come up with innovations that can really be nurtured and probably utilized,” the DOST chief said.
He met with journalists during the recent Innovation Forum: Innovation for Learning and Development organized jointly by the DOST, the Benita and Catalino Yap Foundation (BCYF), and SyCip Gorres and Velayo (SGV) Company as part of the Philippine Innovation Week (PIW) in February.
At the same time, the BCYF launched its 2nd Innovation Awards to pay tribute and recognize individuals and/or teams at the forefront of initiatives that have proven to transform the status quo in various sectors, among them small and medium enterprises (SMEs), government, education, and many others.
The PIW’s major event was the launch of the 2nd BCYF Innovation Awards, while other activities conducted by the foundation included Ideas Conference held on February 22, Campus Tour on February 20-23 at La Consolacion University, Centro Escolar University (CEU) Malolos, CHEDRO Offices, and City University of Taguig, Rizal Technological University (RTU), and Bulacan State University (BSU).
Topping off the events is the BCYF Awards Night on November 29.
Antonio S. Yap, BCYF foundation, and chairman, considers success as innovation, whether people call it innovation or not. Because innovators are doing something that others did not do as well or did not think of doing in that manner.
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“So, I believe that if people pay attention, think through things, whether they are high school or college graduates or higher, they can make innovation a way of living their life.”
Furthermore, Yap said that innovation is a frame of mind, a way of doing things, a way of collaborating with other people.
Speaking from experience as he came from the province as well, the BCYF head said people are not limited by where they came from. “So, I would like to encourage everyone to be ready to commit many mistakes, which is alright as long as you don’t repeat (the same mistakes.”
De la Peña lauded the BCYF and the SGV Company for pushing innovation in various sectors.
“Whether we are talking about human development through our scholarships, innovation is very important. (DOST’s) major programs like disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation also use a lot of innovation,” the DOST chief said.
The BCYF organized the Philippine Innovation Week, recognized by Presidential Proclamation No. 127 series of 2017, to highlight the role of Innovation in Social Development.
DOST Undersecretary Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara, meanwhile, announced at the PIW event that DOST will have 8,000 new scholars for 2018, which she said plays a key role in achieving the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) parameters of 380 scientists, engineers, and researchers (SERs) per one million population for developing countries.
Presently, she said the country has 270 SERs, with a shortfall of 110.